Raylan (Raylan Givens Series #3)

Raylan (Raylan Givens Series #3)

3.6 75
by Elmore Leonard
     
 

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With the closing of the Harlan County, Kentucky coalmines, marijuana has become the biggest cash crop in the state. A hundred pounds of it can gross three-hundred thousand dollars, but that’s chump change compared to the quarter million a human body can get you—especially when it’s sold off piece-by-piece.

So when Dickie and Coover Crowe,

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Overview

With the closing of the Harlan County, Kentucky coalmines, marijuana has become the biggest cash crop in the state. A hundred pounds of it can gross three-hundred thousand dollars, but that’s chump change compared to the quarter million a human body can get you—especially when it’s sold off piece-by-piece.

So when Dickie and Coover Crowe, dope-dealing brothers known for sampling their own supply, decide to branch out into the body business, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to stop them. But by the time Raylan finds out who’s making the cuts, he’s lying naked in a bathtub, with Layla the cool transplant nurse about to go for his kidneys.

Dark and droll, Raylan is pure Elmore Leonard—a page-turner filled with sparkling dialogue and sly suspense that are the hallmarks of this modern master.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
The continued commercial success of the FX television series Justified has created a large fan base for Leonard’s gritty crime stories featuring U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. Given audiences’ strong attachment to the actor who portrays Givens on television, narrator Brian D’Arcy James faces an uphill battle in this audio edition. However, James proves more than equal to the task, creating convincing Southern accents and distinct character voices. In Harlan County, Ky., the Crowe brothers are career drug dealers who’ve moved up to selling human organs for transplant on the black market. Naturally, the only man who can stop them is Givens. James’s performance is not to be missed: his range of dialects and personalities is so impressive that listeners may think this audio features a full cast. A HarperCollins paperback. (Jan.)
Olen Steinhauer
This sounds bleak, and it is. But in addition to kinetic storytelling and spot-on dialogue, Leonard has a cool wit…[Raylan] Givens's one-line declarations help ease the reader through the desolate landscape, and so do Leonard's lively, idiosyncratic characters.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
MWA Grand Master Leonard’s fast-paced, darkly humorous third crime novel starring straight-shooting, supercool U.S. marshal Raylan Givens (after 1995’s Riding the Rap) pits Givens, a former coal miner from Harlan County, Ky., against three very different female crooks—a transplant nurse illegally harvesting organs, a viperous coal company vice president, and a poker-playing Butler University coed, who may or may not be robbing banks to support her habit. The author’s trademark witty dialogue and adeptness at developing quirky, memorable characters overshadows the novel’s plot, which reads like a series of interconnected short stories. For example, the plights of perpetually stoned dope dealers Dickie and Coover Crowe; their infamous father, Pervis “Speed” Crowe; and out-of-work miner Otis Culpepper serve to highlight the economic issues affecting Kentucky coal country. Readers will want to see more of the endearing Givens, the focal character of Justified, the popular FX TV series that starts its third season in early 2012. Agent: Jeff Posternak, the Andrew Wylie Agency. (Feb.)
Entertainment Weekly
“A punchy mix of crime and Kentucky coal-mine sociology . . . It’s one of Leonard’s best thrillers in years.”
Wall Street Journal
“The smarter crooks give Raylan grudging respect; his fellow lawmen grant him their highest praise: ‘You’re doin’ a job the way we like to see it done.’ The same can be said of the 86-year-old Elmore Leonard.”
Detroit News
“[Leonard’s] finely honed sentences can sound as flinty/poetic as Hemingway or as hard-boiled as Raymond Chandler. His ear for the way people talk—or should—is peerless.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“With a practised ease and the craft of more than half a century of novelistic composition, Leonard works like the Picasso of crime fiction . . . Raylan is as close as it gets to creating the complete illusion of unmediated entertainment on the page.”
New York Times Book Review
“In addition to kinetic storytelling and spot-on dialogue, Leonard has a cool wit. . . . Characters roll from scene to scene, urged on by self-interest and greed, bumping against one another and building up steam until they’re smashing together in orgies of violence.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Raylan is Leonard’s best of the 21st century—good stuff from first page to last.”
The Guardian (UK)
“There is no greater writer of crime fiction than Elmore Leonard, and no one who has more resplendent energy. . . . Like pretty well every Leonard novel, Raylan is a delight.”
The Guardian(UK)
"There is no greater writer of crime fiction than Elmore Leonard, and no one who has more resplendent energy. . . . Like pretty well every Leonard novel, Raylan is a delight."
Library Journal
Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens first appeared in Pronto and Riding the Rap. Then Raylan, as portrayed by actor Timothy Olyphant, became the hero of the hit Fox television series Justified. Now Leonard lays down another splendidly grimy crime yarn featuring his law-enforcing protagonist. Raylan finds himself drawn into a bizarre set of cases involving drug dealers, moonshiners, coal-mining conglomerates, and the urban legend-like harvesting of human organs. Yes, siree, Harlan County, KY, ain't no sleepy bunch of tree-lined hollers no more. Raylan, true to character, is willing to allow cocky law breakers enough leash to choke themselves. The bolder ones wind up in front of his pistol. VERDICT Leonard lovers will find the fascinatingly twisted personalities common to his fiction here, along with memorable trademark Leonard moments of humor, grit, and greed. Raylan will play well with his current popularity and won't disappoint fans of the books and the show. [See Prepub Alert, 8/21/11.]—Russell Miller, Prescott P.L., AZ
Kirkus Reviews
Raylan Givens, the U.S. Marshal who brought law and order to Pronto (1993), is back in a series of three interlinked stories disguised as a novel. The first and most successful of the stories complicates Raylan's apprehension of marijuana trader Angel Arenas with the discovery that the dealers with whom Angel was meeting left with his money, his grass and his kidneys, which they propose to sell back to him for $100,000 (the price they demand for either one or both). Raylan's questioning of Pervis Crowe, eastern Kentucky's top marijuana grower, soon leads him to a transplant nurse known, for excellent reasons, as Layla the Dragon Lady. Their encounter ends with a sizable body count and Pervis's oath of vengeance. Raylan's second adventure pits him against Carol Conlan, a law-school–trained vice president of M-T Mining, whose skills in dealing with the problems that beset her employer extend far beyond the courtroom. After their conflict ends in a standoff, Leonard introduces still another strong woman, poker-playing Butler College student Jackie Nevada, who's staked by aging horseman Harry Burgoyne, who'd appeared more briefly in the first tale. The villain of this third piece, Delroy Lewis, forces three of his female acquaintances to rob banks and then gets mighty annoyed when one of them ends up with an exploding dye packet. The fadeout finds Leonard acting as if he's wrapped everything up, but you have to wonder. A master's valedictory canter around a familiar track—an unimpressive job of carpentry that's still treasurable for Leonard's patented dialogue and some truly loopy situations handled with deadpan brio.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062125675
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/17/2012
Series:
Raylan Givens Series, #3
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.78(w) x 5.28(h) x 0.77(d)

Read an Excerpt

Raylan

A Novel
By Elmore Leonard

William Morrow

Copyright © 2012 Elmore Leonard
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780062119469


Chapter One

Chapter One
Raylan Givens was holding a federal warrant to serve on a man in the marijuana
trade known as Angel Arenas, forty-seven, born in the U.S. but 100 percent
of him Hispanic.
"I met him," Raylan said, "the time I was on court duty
in Miami and he was up for selling khat. That Arab plant you
chew on and get high."
"Just medium high," Rachel Brooks said, in the front seat
of the SUV, Raylan driving, early morning sun showing behind
them. "Khat's just catchin on, grown in California, big in San Diego
among real Africans."
"You buy any, you want to know it was picked that morning," Raylan said.
"It gives you a high for the day and that's it."
"I have some friends," Rachel said, "like to chew it now and
then. They never get silly, have fun with it. They just seem to
mellow out."
"Get dreamy," Raylan said.
"What'd Angel go down for?"
"Thirty- six months out of forty and went back to selling
weed. Violated his parole. He was supposed to have made a deal
through that Rastafarian ran the Church?"
"Temple of the Cool and Beautiful J.C.," Rachel said.
"Israel Fendi, with the dreads, Ethiopian by way of Jamaica. Was
he in the deal?"
"Never went near it. But somebody put the stuff on Angel, some doper looking
for a plea deal. Swears Angel was taking delivery last night.
I doubt we walk in and find Angel sitting on it."
From the backseat they heard Tim Gutterson say, "He's looking
at two hundred and forty months this time." Tim going
through a file folder of Angel Arenas photos came to a mug shot.
"Look at that grin. Nothing about him armed and dangerous."
"He never packs," Raylan said, "that I know of. Or has gun thugs hanging around."
The SUV was traveling through a bottom section of East
Kentucky, creeping along behind the state troopers' radio cars,
following a lake that looked more like a river looping around on
its way down past the Tennessee line. A few minutes shy of 6:00
a.m. they pulled up to the Cumberland Inn.
The state troopers, four of them, watched Raylan and his crew slip on Kevlar vests,
which they wore underneath their U.S. marshal jackets,
and watched them check their sidearms.
Raylan told the officers he didn't expect Angel would resist, but
you never knew for sure.
He said, "You hear gunfire come running, all right?"
One of the troopers said, "You want, we'll bust in the door
for you."
"You're dying to," Raylan said. "I thought I'd stop by the
desk and get a key."
The troopers got a kick out of this marshal, at one time a
coal miner from Harlan County but sounded like a lawman, his
attitude about his job. This morning they watched him enter a
fugitive felon's motel room without drawing his gun.
There wasn't a sound but the hum of air conditioning. Sunlight
from the windows lay on the king size bed, unmade but
thrown together, the spread pulled up over bedding and pillows.
Raylan turned to Rachel and nodded to the bed. Now he stepped
over to the bathroom door, not closed all the way, listened and
then shoved it open.
Angel Arenas's head rested against the curved end of the
bathtub, his hair floating in water that came past his chin, his
eyes closed, his body stretched out naked in a tub filled close to
the brim with bits of ice in water turning pink.
Raylan said, "Angel . . . ?" Got no response and kneeled at
the tub to feel Angel's throat for a pulse. "He's freezing to death
but still breathing."
Behind him he heard Rachel say, "Raylan, the bed's full of
blood. Like he was killing chickens in there." And heard her say,
"Oh my God," sucking in her breath as she saw Angel.
Raylan turned the knob to let the water run out, lowering
it around Angel, his belly becoming an island in the tub of ice
water, blood showing in two places on the island.
"He had something done to him," Raylan said. "He's got
like staples closing up what look like wounds. Or was he
operated on?"
"Somebody shot him," Tim said.
"I don't think so," Raylan said, staring at the two incisions
stapled closed.
Rachel said, "That's how they did my mother last year,
at UK Medical. Made one entry below the ribs and the other
under her belly button. I asked her why they did it there 'stead of
around through her back."
Tim said, "You gonna tell us what the operation was?"
"They took out her kidneys," Rachel said. "Both of 'em, and
she got an almost new pair the same day, from a child who'd
drowned."
They wrapped Angel in a blanket, carried him into the bedroom
and laid him on the spread, the man shuddering, trying to
breathe. His eyes closed he said to Raylan staring at him, "What
happen to me?"
"You're here making a deal?"
Angel hesitated. "Two guys I know, growers. We have a
drink— "
"And you end up in the tub," Raylan said. "How much you
pay them?"
"Is none of your business."
"They left the weed?"
"What you see," Angel said.
"There isn't any here."
Angel's eyes came open. "I bought a hundred pounds,
twenty-two thousand dollar. I saw it, I tried some."
"You got taken," Raylan said. "They put you out and left
with the swag and the weed."
Now his eyes closed and he said, "Man, I'm in pain," his
hands under the blanket feeling his stomach. "What did they
take out of me?"
Raylan felt his pulse again. "He's hangin' in, tough little
whatever he is, Sorta Rican? I can see these growers ripping him
off, but why'd they take his kidneys?"
"It's like that old story," Tim said. "Guy wakes up missing a kidney.
Has no idea who took it. People bring it up from time to
time, but nobody ever proved it happened."
"It has now," Raylan said.
"You can't live without kidneys," Tim said.
"Be hard," Raylan said. "Less you get on dialysis pretty
quick. What I don't see, what these pot growers are doing yanking
out people's kidneys. They aren't making it selling weed? I've
heard a whole cadaver, selling parts of it at a time? Will go for a
hundred grand. But you make more you sell enough weed, and
it isn't near as messy as dealing kidneys. What I'm wondering . . ."
He paused, thinking about it.
Tim said, "Yeah . . . ?"
"Who did the surgery?"
About noon, Art Mullen, Marshal in charge of the Harlan
field office, came by the motel to find Raylan still poking around
the room.
Art said, "You know what you're looking for?"
"Techs dusted the place," Raylan said, "picked up Angel's
clothes, bloody dressings, surgical staples, an empty sack of Mail
Pouch, but no kidneys. How's Angel doing?"
"They got him in intensive care, maintaining."
"He's gonna make it?"
"I think what keeps him alive," Art said, "he's half out but
mad as hell these weed dealers ripped him off. Took what he
paid for the reefer— if you believe him— and left him to die."
"Didn't mention," Raylan said, "they took his kidneys?"
"I kept making the point," Art said. " 'Tell me who these
boys are, we'll get your kidneys back for you.' He commenced to
breathe hard and the nurse shooed me out. No, but his kidneys,"
Art said, "were taken out by someone knew what he was doing."
Raylan said, "They were taken out the front."
"They're always taken out the front. Only this was the latest
procedure. Smaller incision and they don't cut through any
muscle."
"I'd like to see Angel," Raylan said, "less you don't want
me to. I've known him since that time he was brought up for selling khat.
When I was on court duty in Miami. Angel and I
got along pretty good," Raylan said. "I think he believes I saved
his life."
"You probably did."
"So he oughta be willing to talk to me."
"He's at Cumberland Regional," Art said. "Maybe they'll let
you see him, maybe not. Where're your partners?"
"There wasn't anything pressing— I told 'em go on back to
Harlan."
"They took the SUV— how're you gonna get around?"
"We have Angel's BMW," Raylan said, "don't we?"
Angel was lying on his back, his eyes closed. Raylan got
down close, brushed Angel's hair out of his face, caught a whiff
of hospital breath and said in a whisper, "Your old court buddy
from Miami's here, Raylan Givens." Angel's eyes came open.
"Was that time you went down for selling khat."
Now it looked like Angel was trying to grin.
"Did you know," Raylan said, "I saved your life this morning?
Another five minutes in that ice water you'd of froze to
death. Thank the Lord I got there when I did."
"For what, to arrest me?"
"You're alive, partner, that's the main thing. Maybe a little
pale's all."
Pale— he looked like he was dead.
"They hook my arm to a machine," Angel said, "takes the
impurities from my blood and keeps me alive long as I can wait
for a kidney. Or I have a relative like a brother wants to give me
one."
"You have a brother?"
"I have someone better."
Smiling now. He was, and Raylan said, "You know I won't
tell where you're getting this kidney, you don't want me to."
"Everybody in the hospital knows," Angel said. "They send
me a fax. You believe it? The nurse comes in and reads it to me.
Tanya, tha's her name. She's very fine, with skin you know will
be soft you touch it. Tanya, man. I ask her she like to go to Lexington
with me when I'm better. You know, I always like a nurse.
You don't have to bullshit them too much."
"The fax," Raylan said. "You get to buy your kidneys back
for how much?"
"A hundred grand," Angel said, "tha's what they offer. You
imagine the balls on these redneck guys? They bring a surgeon
last night so they can take my fucking kidneys and rip me off
twice, counting what they stole from me. They say if I only want
one kidney is still a hundred grand."
Raylan said, "The hospital knows what's going on?"
"I tole you, everybody knows, the doctors, the nurses, Tanya.
They send the fax, then one of them calls the hospital and makes
the arrangement. Nobody saw who deliver them."
"The hospital knows they're yours?"
"Why can't you get that in your head?"
"And they go along with it?"
"Or what, let me die? They not paying for the kidneys."
"When do you have to come up with the money?"
"They say they give me a break, a week or so."
"You know these boys— tell me who they are."
"They kill me. No hurry, get around to it."
"And take your kidneys back," Raylan said. "I don't believe I
ever heard of this one. You know the hospital called the police."
"The police already talk to me. I tole them I don't know
these guys. Never saw them before."
"Or know who's telling them what to do?" Raylan said.
Angel stared at Raylan. "I don't follow you."
"You think your guys came up with this new way to score?
They can take whoever they want off the street," Raylan said,
"while this doctor's scrubbing up for surgery. Why should they be
picky, wait for a drug deal to go down?" Raylan paused. He said,
"You want, I'll help you out."
"For what? You find product in that motel room? Man, I'm
the victim of a crime and you want to fucking put me in jail?"
Finally they reached a point, Angel on a gurney on his way
to the operating room, Raylan tagging along next to it saying,
"Give me a name. I swear on my star you won't have to pay for
either one."
He watched Angel shake his head saying, "You don't know
these people."
"I will, you tell me who they are."
"You have to go in the woods to find them."
"Buddy, it's what I do." They were coming to double doors
swinging open. "I call Lexington with the names and they e-mail
me their sheets. I might even know these guys."
"They grow reefer," Angel said, "from here to West Virginia."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Raylan by Elmore Leonard Copyright © 2012 by Elmore Leonard. Excerpted by permission of William Morrow. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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